Time To Eat Some Crosby Crow

  • Thursday, May 20, 2010 2:03 PM
  • Written By: Steve Silver


It is time to come out of hiding.

I am not sure I will ever fully recover from the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Game (if you can even call it a game) 7 against the Montreal Canadiens. It was an embarrassment of epic proportions.

To make matters worse, I spent the past weekend in Philadelphia where I couldn’t even drink my misery away without bumping into a raucous Flyers fan celebrating their own Game 7 triumph. Those Broad Street Bullies sure seem like a lock for “Team of Destiny” with a 2-0 series lead in the conference final, eh?

What is most painful, though, is facing the consequences of supporting Sidney Crosby.

I truly never imagined that I would have to take back everything I said about him, but it is time to line up at the crow buffet.

I should have seen the signs starting in the Olympics.

Despite being a non-factor for most of the Gold Medal run, Crosby worked his magic in overtime against Team USA for the winning goal. I thought for sure it would happen again in Game 7. Not even close.

Maybe the magic had run out, or he was tired or he just didn’t want it enough. Perhaps Hal Gill on one leg really is that good of a defender. Whatever the reason, Crosby, as well as Evgeni Malkin, was nowhere to be found pretty much the entire series against the Canadiens. Marc-Andre Fleury, despite flashing moments of brilliance, couldn’t stop a softball for the most part.

Now after seeing Ovechkin and Crosby completely dumbfounded by the play of Montreal netminder Jaroslav Halak, you have to wonder what Philadelphia knows that nobody else did.

How were the Flyers able to post 6-0 and 3-0 victories already when the Capitals and Penguins resembled the pre-Gordon Bombay District 5 squad staring in awe at the evil Hawks?

Although I hate Philly sports teams, I’ll jump on the Flyers bandwagon for this run for no other reason than the fairy tale story revolving around a regular-season finale shootout just to make the playoffs.

In my dream world the Flyers will take down the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.

Just watch out if they actually do win the Stanley Cup, but because Flyers’ fans are quite a special breed as illustrated by this attack on a Montreal hockey writer’s car. I smell a riot brewing.

Finally, on a completely off-topic installment of “Today in Steroids,” cyclist Floyd Landis admitted to using pretty much ever performance enhancer he could get his hands on.


Are we really surprised by this anymore? I can’t think of a truly innocent athlete falsely accused of using steroids. Sure, they swear innocence at the time, but the truth eventually always comes out.

I think we should create an amnesty day where every athlete using an illegal substance can come out and own up to it without fear of punishment. I’m willing to bet more than 75 percent of athletes in every sport throughout the world would have something to admit.

Let’s not forget about the most recent news regarding Santana Moss and the dirty doctor from Canada either.

I have said it before and I will say it again. Professional athletes are not role models and they will do anything to keep up with or gain an edge on their competition.

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Crosby Hate Is Getting Old

  • Thursday, May 6, 2010 12:55 AM
  • Written By: Steve Silver


It is fun to hate Sidney Crosby.

I get it.

He is the best hockey player in the world. He wins a lot of championships and awards. He even has the audacity to not showboat or get in trouble off the ice.

Basically Crosby is a Prom King, Student Council President, teacher’s pet and Abercrombie model all rolled into one.

I mean, who could cheer for a guy like that? (Besides Pittsburgh Penguins’ fans, obviously.)

Well, I tell you who – Canadians with any semblance of respect for the game of hockey, particularly in Montreal.

Yes, Crosby is a Penguin, and Montreal should absolutely hate Pittsburgh right now, but why are Canadiens’ fans going to extremes to harass Crosby?

Every time Crosby touches the puck at the Bell Centre the raucous crowd showers him with booing. Often that arena erupts with “Crosby sucks” chants. A local pizza shop has even put a Crosby jersey on the sidewalk to let people and dogs trample on it.

Really, Montreal? I mean, come on. I always expected this kind of behavior in Philadelphia or even Washington, but Montreal?

A few months ago you were practically ready to elect Crosby as prime minister of Canada and now he is public enemy No. 1? I feel like he should give Rodney Dangerfield a call, the guy just can't get any respect.

How quickly a nation forgets Sid’s gold medal-winning overtime goal. What about the World Junior championship he won? Or you know, that whole bringing the sport of hockey – your sport – back into the mainstream by living up to every expectation that comes with being the face of the NHL.

Rub your feet on a Malkin jersey or boo Cooke for taking cheap shots at your players, but what do you gain from hurling insults at a young man who has done nothing but proudly represent your nation and its national pastime?

Sure, I boo Pittsburghers like Oakland Raiders quarterback Bruce Gradkowski when he plays the Steelers. Gradkowski, though, isn’t even on the same stratosphere as Crosby.

To Crosby’s credit, he admits that he is used to all the hate.

"I didn't really go looking or expecting anything,” Crosby said. “I'm out there playing, I don't really realize that kind of stuff now. After playing so many games in Philly, I think that just becomes part of what you expect on the road.”

Last I checked Crosby led the league in postseason points. So please keep it up, haters.

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NU and Carmody Complete Another Failed Season

  • Saturday, March 13, 2010 1:15 AM
  • Written By: Steve Silver


I really don’t know why I get my hopes up anymore.

After conceding every December that Northwestern will never string together an NCAA tournament-worthy regular season, I always pin my Big Dance dreams on a miraculous run through the Big Ten tournament.

Once again NU let me down.

This year the Wildcats’ season came to an end against Purdue in the Big Ten quarterfinals. Yes, it was a close game (69-61) and I’ll admit the Boilermakers were extremely unimpressive as the Wildcats did everything they could to not win the game, but that does not change the end result – no NCAA tournament bid and most likely not even an NIT berth.

When will enough be enough? Why do the school, athletic department, alums and fans continue to support such a joke of a basketball program?

I can’t help but reread a column I wrote for The Daily Northwestern during my junior year as an undergraduate titled, "The Time Has Passed For Carmody".

The basic gist was that NU needed to fire coach Bill Carmody and I still believe this is the only way to salvage the team.

In that column three years ago I wrote, “… With Bill Carmody at the helm of our Cats, I will never even be able to dream of having a "good" basketball team here. I'd celebrate a mediocre team, but Carmody can't even pull that off.”

Today I am willing to admit that Carmody has surpassed mediocrity. A record-setting 20-13 season this year is nothing to sneeze at. Progress has been made.

But does a winning season, Carmody’s first since the 2001-02 campaign, really deserve another 10 years to try to make the NCAA tournament?

I know what the counterarguments are. The team is now winning. They have a solid group of starters returning next season. They won 20 games without Kevin Coble. They are not getting blown out anymore, as each game is competitive.

Excuse me while I yawn.

Coming close just doesn’t cut it anymore. At some point Carmody has to be judged based on the end result. Make the NCAA tournament or find a new job. It is simple.

Consider that over 10 seasons, I repeat TEN SEASONS, Carmody is 140-162 overall with a 51-115 Big Ten record. How in the world has this man kept his job for so long by winning less than one third of all conference games?

It is truly mind-blowing.

Carmody has clearly earned himself another year, but at some point somebody in power has to set the bar at making the NCAA tournament or NU will never be in it.

Then again, Carmody might become a hero when the field expands to 96 teams and he leads the Wildcats to the Bigger Dance. That’s still probably hoping for too much.

On a completely unrelated note, I have to post this video of Snoop Dogg showing Sidney Crosby some love at the 1:20 mark.

On my last post about Crosby a few haters ripped him for not living up to the “legend” hype.

Yea, you can all shut up now. At the age of 22 Crosby has won a Stanley Cup, an Olympic Gold Medal, the Art Ross Trophy, the Hart Trophy and the Lester B. Pearson Trophy.

Oh and he’s only put up a measly 86 points in 67 games this season while scoring a league-leading 45 goals.

Boy, that Sidney Crosby. What a letdown, eh?

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Crosby Is Now A Free Man

  • Monday, March 1, 2010 12:25 PM
  • Written By: Steve Silver


As I struggled to recover from Canada’s overtime triumph on Sunday evening, I turned on the local KDKA news to see how the Pittsburgh media would cover the coronation of Sidney Crosby as Canada’s newest god.

This particular station decided to interview some less than sober clientele at bars downtown to gauge their reactions.

Most responses were of the mundane variety such as, “If we had to lose, at least it was Crosby who scored” or “I still love Sidney, but I want to hate him today.”

Then one inebriated patron launched into a tirade about how Crosby doesn’t want to win another Stanley Cup since he is so happy now and how he has no motivation to work hard anymore.

Cue the remote control flying across the room.

Is this guy serious?

First of all, if that were true, then nobody would ever win multiple championships in any sport.

But let’s focus on Sidney Crosby.

Even after winning the Cup last season, Crosby still had to prove himself with a gold medal. Despite all of his accomplishments on the ice, he knew anything short of gold in Vancouver would cast a cloud over his career.

I saw how the pressure burdened him firsthand prior to the Olympic break as the Penguins faced the Nashville Predators at Mellon Arena.

In that game Crosby took a slap shot off his skate and gingerly left the ice. Once on the bench he threw a tantrum of epic proportions. He snapped his stick in half, barked at team trainers to stay away and he sulked with his head beneath the boards for several shifts.

I had never seen Crosby lose his composure like that before and he admitted in his post-game comments how much the Olympics meant to him and that’s why he was upset about a potential injury.

Although that injury was minor, it was a microcosm for the tournament. He had to be perfect and frankly, he wasn’t. He tried too hard and was ultimately missing from many score sheets. None of that matters now, though, as Crosby is forever inscribed in Canadian hockey lore.

That gold medal and the lifting of his country’s high expectations are exactly why Crosby is now even more likely to win another Stanley Cup.

He is now just playing for himself. He can have fun and enjoy himself. Have you ever seen the kid smile so much as he did after his overtime winner?

Crosby has done everything he ever wanted to do and now it is solely about the love of the game.

Once he recovers from the post-Olympics hangover I expect to see a much looser, more offensively potent Crosby lead the Penguins deep into the playoffs.

With 20 games remaining in the regular season it is very likely that Crosby could post 30 more points. I predict Crosby finishes the season somewhere near 60 goals and 100 points.

Will he win another Cup this year? Who knows, the Penguins are not the top team right now, but they certainly have a shot.

No matter what happens this season, Crosby is now, at least psychologically, a free man. And that, drunk guy on KDKA, is truly good news for Pittsburgh.

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